November 2011

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laugh Are you a PITBCG? By Laura J. Gallagher " " And if you must flail around like you've got a spider in your hair, at least do it in time to the music. when I can actually make out what you're saying ("Oh my God," "I did not" and "Jenny" seem common), or when it's all just mamble samble sibble sa cha. If this sounds like you, just leave. Now. You might not know it by looking at me these days, but back in the middle ages I was quite the rock 'n' roll chick. As I've mentioned in previous columns, I've worked for a record store, a record com- pany and as editor of an entertainment paper. And I used to be 25. And hot. Between those days and having been married to a radio guy for longer than I haven't been, let's just say that I've been to a lot—a lot—of concerts and club shows. And while weekday nights at Club Whatever or the BlahBlah Theater are now few and far between, I still probably go to more shows than the average 40-something Middletonian. Which means I've encountered more than my share of fellow concert-goers of all ages, and which brings me to say this with love: Some of you are pains in the butt. Now I'm sure that you're all dying to know if you are a Pain in the Butt Concert Goer (PITBCG) so that you can immediately repent and change your ways. If you fall into any one of the following categories, you might be a PITBCG. The "I Love Going to Concerts, They're a Great Place to Talk"er. I'm leading off with this one because this is the group that mystifies me the most. You've paid $XX to see this show, $1XX after Ticket- Master's "convenience fee." Maybe you've gotten a babysitter. This is probably a big night out for you if you're more than 32 years old. So why aren't you paying any attention to the people playing their hearts out on the stage? You do know that the quiet, contemplative songs have not been added to the set list to give you cretins a chance to tell that hil-aar-ee-ous story about how Debbie from Account- ing spilled toner all over the copy room, right? Someone's up there, sharing the pain of losing their dad or watching their best friend descend into alcoholism, and…gah! How is this the time to say anything besides "Help, I'm on fire?" You do know we can hear you, right? And I don't know what's worse: The Gotta Dance-r! Look, I love music. I get how it can move a person beyond measure. I also get that there are other people here who want to enjoy the show. Sure, stand, sway, sing along quietly, play a little air guitar—even boogie down in your personal space bubble. But we all have a radius and you don't get to encroach on mine because I'm short or because you obviously "love the band more." And if you must flail around like you've got a spider in your hair, at least do it in time to the music. And stop bringing backpacks to shows, unless you're leaving for your Everest climb straight from the venue. ••• Laura J. Gallagher is a long-time communications professional. When not teasing her husband, Triple M's Pat Gallagher, she is staying up past her bedtime at a concert or two. Find her on Face- book at the Laura J. Gallagher page! The Best. Fan. Ever. You know all the words to the songs. You might know the patter in between songs. You feel compelled to talk about other shows you've seen by this band, often acting overly familiar because you met them once after a show. Good for you. But no one else is here for a rundown of your experiences, so can it. There are no prizes. My favorite? The ones who shout "We love you!" I've always wanted to shout "We love you too, but as a friend!" The "Here Is the Name of a Song That You Perform, I Suggest You Perform It Now"er. A cousin to No. 2, you've got a favor- ite song, you want to hear it, and you want to hear it now. So you take advantage of that momentary quiet while the bassist tunes an errant string, or the crew adjusts the monitors, or maybe during one of those previously mentioned quiet introspective songs—and you yell it. Just it. Loudly. Because the band doesn't have the whole show planned out. Because they're not going to play, like, their second-biggest hit tonight. Because they're just waiting for some- one to suggest it. Bonus points to the woman at the Warren Zevon show many years ago who yelled "Lawyers, Guns and Money" when he had already played it. 96 BRAVA Magazine November 2011

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